Giving Filipinos a taste of the Mid-Autumn Festival

Sweet treats: A chef showing a tray of mooncakes to be baked at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, Manila. — Xinhua

The Mid-Autumn Festival has become one of the most celebrated occasions in the Philippines, a moment for family reunions and relaxation.

For Elaine Chong, owner of a Chinese restaurant selling mooncake all-year-round in Manila, the key takeaway of this year’s festival is that no matter how severe the coronavirus pandemic is, her mooncake business will thrive.

The turnover of Chong’s mooncake shop, a time-honoured brand established in 1985 in the world’s oldest Chinatown, remains sunken and precariously unstable, with once long-waiting-queue sales pattern upended by the pandemic.

Despite the sales challenge, Chong, in her 60s, still strictly abides by her mooncake-making standard: “I treat every mooncake as if it were the last one I make in my life.”

Often known as the Mooncake Festival and second in importance only to the Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on Sept 21 this year.

Chong said among the best-preserved customs of the festival are watching the full moon and tasting mooncakes, both with family and friends. Hence, mooncakes gave the Filipinos a chance to have a deeper look into Chinese culture.

“My customers are all about the love for families, longing for peace, harmony and fondness of reunions, which are the keys of the Mid-Autumn Festival,” she said. — Xinhua

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